This study investigated the effects cooperative learning had on student attitudes, the academic and social benefits, and on task behavior. Cooperative learning groups are selected groups of students who work together to complete an assignment, an activity or a project often under specified criteria This study was centered around my fifth grade math class. This math class was composed of students who were at different ability levels. I used cooperative learning groups, either student or teacher selected for the majority of the class period. I used student questionnaires to gather student attitudinal data on the use of cooperative learning groups, observations to detennine academic and social benefits as well as the drawbacks. Student artifacts were collected to detennine academic achievement and progress. During interviews students were asked about their on task behavior while working in cooperative groups. The interviews helped to ascertain student attitudes as well. Presentation of the results and discussion reveal that students felt math was easier and more fun when working in cooperative groups. Most students preferred group work over working alone and believed they did a good job of staying on task. The academic and social benefits outweighed the drawbacks.
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